Fendi, New York

Sarah Jessica Parker and “Sex & the City” may have made Fendi more popular (if that’s possible), but thankfully, the end of the show hasn’t affected the popularity of this extravagant and haute fashion line of clothing and accessories. When you have celebrities like Kate Moss, Lindsay Lohan, Rose McGowan, Thandie Newton, and Kate Bosworth patronizing a brand, one television show or even a bag full of them going off air wouldn’t create a ripple.

The story of Fendi’s climb to success is an extremely inspiring one. Who could imagine that the humble furrier and leather goods company opened by newly- married Eduardo and Adele Fendi in 1925 would become a global brand, much sought after by fashion aficionados? Soon, their five daughters joined the company, giving Fendi its first taste of prominence in Italy. Fendi furs became something of a legend there, equated with style and high fashion.

In 1965, two significant events decided the course of Fendi’s history. Upcoming Paris designer, Karl Lagerfeld came on board and the now famous Fendi double “FF” logo was born.  In 1977, Lagerfeld launched the house’s ready-to-wear lines showcasing glamorous women’s wear and classically tailored menswear.

Then came the much-coveted “baguette” designed by third-generation Fendi scion Sylvia that became an instant rage among the female population. Till today, it is probably the hottest commodity as far as women’s accessories go, even if they do come at a price that could cover an average man’s rent for one (or is it two) months!

In 1989 Fendi launched a man’s fragrance “Fendi Uomo” all over the world. It was a pretty ambitious move but as it is with everything else under the Fendi umbrella, it soon became one of the popular men’s scents of that time. Soon after, Fendi inaugurated its first flagship store in the United States on Fifth Avenue. For the first time, this retail store opened up the entire Fendi world under one roof.

Clothes at the Fifth Avenue location introduce you to the wilder side of designer Karl Lagerfeld, what with all the animal prints, funky flair, and edgy cuts. The accessories to go with these fabulously designed clothes are also equally extravagant, be it the flashy timepieces or the four-inch- heel shoes. The prices may be intimidating to a first timer, but you have to look at what you are getting. Quality and design aesthetics at Fendi are unparalleled. Besides, if you feel that you can’t afford the full price, come back during the end of season sales, which, for obvious reasons, are eagerly awaited.

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